Betting the result of a match by sets

This is another interesting option to place a bet. Obviously, predicting the exact match result is a very long shot, but predicting whether a player will win in straight sets or not is not so difficult. Depending on what type of tournament the players are in, they will either play best of three or best of five.

Best of five

The rule of best of 5 sets only applies for the Davis Cup, Grand Slam tournaments (Wimbledon, Roland Garros, US Open and Australian Open) and the ATP finals tournaments. In women's tennis, ALL tournament matches are played best of three.

Statistically, in men's tennis, straight sets (3:0) are relatively rare in best of five matches. That said, your best strategy probably is not to bet right away but watch the first set - maybe then first 4 or five games. Then, you should decide on who do you think will win the match and then, think about whether he will win 2:0 or 2:1, and bet accordingly.

If you see that both players have little trouble winning their service games, chances are that the match will end 3:1 or 3:2 for either of the players. Very often under such circumstances, sets will be decided in tie-breakers. Unless one player manages to win three tie-breakers in a row, the match will go the distance. 

Also, stamina is a very important factor here. If you find that one of the players is physically very fit, and the other seems to be getting tired early, that info is very valuable. Let's say player A is not known for being the fittest - he may be playing a very aggressive game and is ahead in set one. Player B (who is very fit and is known as a good counter-puncher or defensive player) will most likely not go down in straight sets, maybe even turn a 0:1, 1:2 or even 0:2 sets situation around in his own favor. So, when you think that although down one set, player B will wear the other guy down, betting on him to win 3:2 or even 3:1 should yield a good profit.

Best of three

There are only 4 betting options available: Player A winning 2:0 or 2:1, or Player B to win 2:0 or 2:1.

Again, you will want to figure out who the likely winner is first. Then, decide whether he or she will do it in straight sets or not. Again, if the games are all very disputed between both players, the match is more likely to go on for three sets.

One thing you may want to take into consideration here: Some players are known to be late starters, meaning it always takes some time to find their rhythm. In this case, even if that player is behind in set one, the chances of him winning 2:1 are still pretty good. And in generals terms, when player A wins set #1 and player B wins set #2, the psychological effect of having come back from behind is very often an advantage for the player who has won the second set.

Betting on the number of sets needed to decide the match

This is an option that not many sportsbooks offer, but it can be extremely profitable. In best of three matches, obviously there are only two possible outcomes: 2 and 3 sets (if a player retires during set 1 because of injury, the match will still be counted as being won in two sets!). This is actually a bet that you could place before the start of the match - if you feel that one of the two players is clearly the better.

Still, you need to be careful - for example, if a match is being played on a fast surface, even a somewhat weaker player always has a good chance to win at least one set against a stronger opponent, by just winning all his service games and winning at least one tie-breaker.

In best-of-five matches, the number of sets can vary between 3, 4 or 5. In Grand Slam tournaments, passing just one round can make a huge difference in terms of prize money. Winning the first round match in Wimbledon 2017 meant an amount of GBP 57,000.00 as opposed to 35,000.00 for the first round loser. That is a difference of 22,000.00 - which, for a player with a lower ranking might be enough to offset his expenses for at least half a season on the WTA or ATP tour. That said, especially lower ranked players will not give up easily when down one set, or even two.